Featured Faculty Member of the Week / Ricardo Morales


Ricardo Morales / Principal Clarinet / The Philadelphia Orchestra

Ricardo Morales is one of the most sought after clarinetists of today. He joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal clarinet in 2003. Prior to this he was principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position he assumed at the age of 21, under the direction of James Levine. His virtuosity and artistry as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician has been hailed and recognized in concert halls around the world. He has performed as guest principal clarinetist several times with the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony, and at the invitation of Sir Simon Rattle, performed as guest principal clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic. He also performs as principal clarinet with the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra, at the invitation of Seiji Ozawa.

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Morales began his studies at the Escuela Libre de Musica along with his five siblings, who are all distinguished musicians. He continued his studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Indiana University, where he received his Artist Diploma.

Mr. Morales has been a featured soloist with many orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic, and the Flemish Radio Symphony. During his tenure with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra he soloed under the baton of Mr. Levine in Carnegie Hall and on two European tours. He made his solo debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2004 with Charles Dutoit and has since performed as soloist on numerous occasions.

We are continuing our conversation with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra about their beginnings in music, their inspirations and aspirations. Please join us each week to see many of your new favorites featured right here!

Q:  What is your all-time, favorite movie?  Star Wars

Q:  What CD are you currently listening to? Perlman playing Wienaski

Q: Is there a genre of music, other than classical, that makes your spirit soar? World music

Q: Other than music, what inspires you most? Sports – boxing

Q: Who else in your family is musical?  All of my five siblings.

Q:  What is your favorite piece to hear SOMEONE ELSE perform?  Sibelius Violin Concerto

Q:  When did you first know that you wanted to be a professional musician? From the moment I picked up my clarinet.

Q: Who is your favorite musical icon, living or dead? James Levine

Q: Do you still get nervous before a performance, and if so – how do you cope?  Always! I try to think that the people are there to enjoy your playing, so I try to concentrate on trying to phrase something nice for them.

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